View Full Version : Friedlander and cropping?
Nacio Jan Brown
03-07-2008, 03:36 PM
I just saw the Friedlander exhibit in San Francisco. Wow! Anyway, with respect to his images shot from inside cars using the car windows as a kind of frame it looks to me like they must be square sections cropped out of much wider images. They are in focus from at least as close as 18" (steering wheels, dashboards, etc.) and out to infiinity (distant buildings). Even so, they have no the super wide angle lens look around the sides. I know he uses a Super Wide Hasselblad but, again, apart from the depth of field and the obvious closeness of the camera to the near objects, nothing in the images smacks of radical "wide angle." Can anyone confirm my hunch? Is there anyone with a Super Wide Hasselblad who can take a look at what the camera sees from inside a car? And, do see the show if you can. njb
03-07-2008, 05:55 PM
The SW Hasselblad lens is a superbly corrected lens. It's inherent in the design to correct for the distortion normally found in other super wide lenses. Also, Friedlander is a master of using the camera.
Interestingly, Friedlander has said in at least one interview I've read that he accepts the accidents that happen with the SW Hasselblad. The interview I read with him was about his book The Desert Seen in which his own shadow was included in some of the photos. The interviewer appeared to make that a point of including the artist in the work of art but Friedlander said it was only an accident due to the wide view of the lens and the fact that the camera only allowed viewfinder observation of the subject. Friedlander has always loved the look of snapshots that include stuff that is extraneous to the main subject--something he accomplishes really well with the SW Hasselblad. I love his work.
Nacio Jan Brown
03-08-2008, 04:02 PM
The links below take you to shots from "America by Car." I'm still trying to figure out how Friedlander is doing it. Taking a 35mm camera with a 35mm lens into my car I find that the angle of acceptance is in the same ballpark as Friedlander's images. However, on a 2-1/4" square negative the angle would open up noticeably. Also, the 38mm Biogon stops down to f/22 so how is he getting the depth of field shown here? Using Dudak's online depth of field calculator you are in focus from about 20" to 7-1/2 feet if focused at 3'. Focused at 4' you are in focus from about 27 inches to just under 20'.
Does anyone out there know what I'm overlooking? The only way I can see to get such images is by using a radically wider lens than the 38mm Biogon and then cropping out a square area from the center of the image.
03-08-2008, 04:14 PM
I have been using my 40mm Distagon on a Rollei for quite a while to take Friedlander-esque pictures from inside the car like he used to do in the 70s with the Leica. Is he now using the Biogon from inside the car also? Copycat!. Seriously though, the view in the Friedlander image is similar, or slightly wider than my 40mm, which is what I would expect.
40mm Distagon (scan from a proof):
03-08-2008, 04:48 PM
I have an SWC/M and at f/22 the depth of field scale reads from just over 2 feet to infinity with the lens focussed at 4 feet.
Using Dudak's online depth of field calculator you are in focus from about 20" to 7-1/2 feet if focused at 3'. Focused at 4' you are in focus from about 27 inches to just under 20'.
Does anyone out there know what I'm overlooking?